Do parents need to follow their Parenting Plan at all times?
No, there can be times when you do not have to follow the terms of your Parenting Plan. In fact, most parenting plans include – or should include – language that states that the parties may temporarily alter their Parenting Plan as long as they both agree on the change,
For example, suppose that under the terms of a Parenting Plan a father is supposed to have his child for the entire month of July every summer. After a few years, the parents agree that for the next year the father will get 2 weeks in June and 2 weeks in July instead of the whole month of July. They are allowed to agree to this change. There is no requirement to go back to court and get the judge’s approval.
However, if you do not get judicial approval, then the agreement only lasts as long as both parents agree to the change. If either parent later wants to stop the new schedule, they have to go back to the father getting the whole month of July.
Lastly, I always encourage clients to verify – at least with an exchange of emails – all changes to their Parenting Plan.